When faced with hard times in life, would you prefer someone coming along to help you get back up and on your own two feet or someone coming to take over and rescue you? Letting you sit this one out.
Some of us have consciously considered this. Others have more likely kept this question and its answer at an unconscious level. But, either way, I wonder if it isn’t what partly if not mostly informs our ideas about God, about people in authority or leadership in our lives, and about ourselves in relation to others under our own leadership. Not only are we either supporters or rescuers in our own right, but we seek out either supporters or rescuers for ourselves.
Or here’s another one.
Do you think love involves helping people out, ourselves included, or rather rescuing them? Rescuing as in taking over for people who are overwhelmed by circumstances of any sort. And now to get really personal here: do you feel more loved when someone enters your life to take over, or someone enters to encourage you to take over yourself? And to support you in doing so?
The God of my own faith is a God whose love always helps but never rescues.
You may believe in this same God. Or not.
If you believe in a different God, whose love is controlling and does things “His” way or else just forget it, then you and I will arrive at very different answers and conclusions about how to solve a great variety of human problems. We will espouse different ideas when it comes to marriage, parenting, politics, economics, of course religion, and just community life in general.
And for us to resolve our differences, we will probably have to back up to square one and open up to each other about our answer to that original question: would I prefer being supported or rescued when faced with hard times in life? Notice I say when faced, not if faced. You see, life is hard and there are two different ways to go in life: we can either make it harder still, or we can make it easier. To me, being rescued makes it easier in the short run but harder in the long run. Being helped? The opposite. Easier in the long run.
The God of my faith, and of the Bible I read, is the God of the long run. The God whose love is always aimed at making life easier in the long run.
Not the short run. That may involve “like” but it doesn’t involve “love.”
At least not in my book.
I believe God supports but doesn't rescue us even when this means our life is harder in the short run, because such support, indeed such love, is precisely what will make life easier in the long run.
I believe God loves the world so much that God refuses to take control for us. Over us. Or to rescue us from our own hard times. Rather, God loves us enough to help us help ourselves and take control of ourselves and get back up on our own two feet and, well, to then support instead of taking over for others. That is, to love one another as God has loved us.
So what do you believe? Supporter? Rescuer? Which is God? And which are you?